Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.1% to $59.9 billion in February as gains in sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores and gasoline stations were offset by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.
The agency says core retail sales – which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers – rose 1.4%.
Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores gained 15.1% for the month, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 5.6%. Sales at gasoline stations added 6.2%.
Meanwhile, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 5.1%, the largest drop for the group since a 6.2% drop in December 2020.
In volume terms, retail sales were down 0.4% in February.
Looking ahead, Statistics Canada says its initial estimate for retail sales in March suggests a gain of 1.4 % for the month, but cautioned the figure will be revised.